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The 6 Books You Definitely Should Be Packing For Your Holidays In 2020

Image by: Angello Lopez

Need some pool-side reading inspiration? We at Octer have rounded up the six most exciting beach reads of 2020. 

There’s nothing quite like holiday reading. Long, golden days empty of the responsibilities and real life worries that we left at home; the smell of salt and sun cream, pool water still drying on our legs and complimentary cocktails glistening beside us. Days on end, free to while away the hours soaking the sun and turning pages. It’s a time for guilt-free indulgence, whether that be a trashy romance (the likes of which you would never be seen with on the train), a thrilling crime drama, an escapist novel set on far-flung shores, or a classic that you’ve been meaning to pick up for years. 

The only issue? Narrowing down your reading choices to meet your airline’s hand luggage restrictions. After all, an opportunity for guiltless escapism doesn’t often come around. So, to help you choose - and with thought to your already packed suitcase - we at Octer have rounded up the most exciting reads of 2020.


1. Normal People by Sally Rooney

Image by: Faber & Faber

2019 was unofficially the year of Sally Rooney, thanks to the intense hype her second novel, Normal People, generated. Set in a small Irish town, Normal People follows the highs and lows of a blossoming romance between teenagers-turned-uni students, Connell and Marianne. Sure, we’ve seen endless depictions of the cliche ‘on-again, off-again’ love story, but Rooney does it with such wit and depth as to make it feel fresh. You’ll want to read this before the BBC's adaptation airs later this year.

Buy Sally Rooney's Normal People here now

2. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Image by: Arrow

Taylor Jenkins Reid was inspired by Fleetwood Mac and the legendary making of the Rumours album - complete with its tales of breakups, affairs and sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - when writing Daisy Jones and the Six. Structured like the transcript from a rock documentary, she builds a history for a Seventies rock band that never existed. The underlying question of the book/fictional documentary: if Daisy Jones and The Six can create one of the best rock albums of all time, how come they never made another album together? Daisy Jones and the Six will soon also grace the small screen, with Reese Witherspoon producing the TV adaptation. 

Read Daisy Jones & The Six here

3. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Image by: Atlantic Books

Korede is the sensible older sister, overlooked by everyone from men to her mother for her charismatic sister Ayoola. It’s a common dynamic, especially for anyone who has a sister. In this case though, as the book’s title suggests, Ayoola isn’t quite as she appears and Korede is used to cleaning up after her sister’s crimes; the book opens with Korede calmly explaining what the best way to clean up blood is. My Sister, the Serial Killer is a darkly funny take on the complicated relationship between sisters, and is short enough to devour it in one sitting.

Discover more about My Sister, the Serial Killer

4. The Wych Elm by Tana French

Image by: Viking

Tana French knows what it takes to make a great suspense thriller. She is, after all, the author of the Dublin Murders series. Now, she offers The Wych Elm, in which she explores themes of self-deception, memory and family secrets. Following a vicious attack in his home, confident PR Toby Hennessy is convalescing at his dying uncle’s house when his young niece and nephew discover a human skull in a gnarled elm tree, bringing with it Toby’s dark and misremembered teenage history and long forgotten trauma.

Buy The Wych Elm here

5. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

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Fresh from a breakup with her boyfriend, Queenie Jenkins moves out from her flat and into a dreary flatshare. That’s not all; her career doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and her family won’t listen to her. Feeling stuck in between two worlds that don’t really understand her, Queenie faces issues surrounding heartbreak, love, life, family and race with humour and heart.

Discover more about Queenie here

6. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Image by: Macmillan

When Jessica Farris signs up to a psychiatrist's study about ethics and morality she thinks it’s a simple way to make money quickly. As ever, this isn’t the case - soon, the series of emotionally manipulative experiments and their effects start seeping into Jessica's personal life. Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s web of lies, jealousy and control are sure to keep you on the edge of your sunbed all day long. 

Buy An Anonymous Girl here